The ground outside is becoming sodden. There is a muddy trail leading to the bonfire area, and a puddle has developed in the chicken's run. I had to summon the Systems Administrator to help me lift my last bale of straw into a wheelbarrow, because it was soaked too, and scattered it in wet lumps in the run to try and keep it from getting any muddier. Poor chickens. It is not good for them to let mud build up on their feet, and besides it gets on the eggs.
I will need to buy some more straw from somewhere, and am not at all sure where. The last lot came from friends who had got it from their neighbouring farmer as seating for a big family party in their garden, and who kindly brought it over in their trailer, but that's not to say they've got any more, and I don't want to sound as though I am expecting them to keep delivering it when it's a round trip of forty miles. Another friend used to live with a farmer and he was willing to sell me straw, but they separated, and the only farmer I know locally is the lettuce farmer, who isn't likely to have any. There is a place up the road advertising equestrian feed and tack so I thought that could be my next port of call. Somebody might be advertising small bales, unless horses are all bedded on sawdust nowadays. Otherwise I suppose I am on to friends of friends. A beekeeping friend of mine buys milk from her farming friend (unusual even to find a dairy farmer in this part of the world) and would the farmer have any spare straw and would they be willing to let me have some? It is amazing how it is possible to live surrounded by fields and not really know any farmers. I would rather find a local source too, since now we don't have the truck I am limited to what I can fit in the Skoda, unless somebody brings it.
The back lawn is so wet that the Systems Administrator was unwilling to walk on it, and spent the day salvaging the remains of a large fallen ash from the far end of the wood. Today's papers are running the stories that load bearing exercise is good for your bones (who'd have guessed) and even light gardening reduces your chances of dying (if you are a man. The study didn't include any women). Neither article specifically mentioned the health benefits of chopping up a large tree and then carrying it piece by piece uphill in the mud, but I am sure there are some, as long as the SA doesn't strain his back.
I washed my socks, the alpaca ones that are better done by hand. My GP told me to take it easy.